Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals Greyhounds grab Senior Night win Indians finish regular season riding six-game winning streak Harper, Hupp, Defense lead Lady Devils to fourth consecutive sectional championship West Union Elementary recognizes Students of the Month for January Second Healthy Hero awarded by Adams County Health and Wellness Coalition Coal company files to intervene in power plant closings Senior Profile: Jessica Sowards Senior Profile: Dennis Welch Dorothy E Walls Mabel Chamblin Michael R Jones Marie I Simmons Ray Johnson One thing to remember this President’s Day Adams County Deer Harvest down over 21% MLSD amends five-year budget, prepares for future with power plant closings Lady Dragons triumph in sectional opener Lady Hounds eighth graders capture SHAC Tournament title Gary L Fetters Sr Boys Sectional brackets released ‘We’re only as good as the way we treat others’ Another round of smiles Adams County Board of DD members recognized Terry L Unger 8th Grade Lady Devils ousted in tourney semis WU’s McCarty signs with Ohio Christian Joyce A Huddleson Carolyn Spires BREAKING NEWS: Peebles police search for man accused of selling marijuana-laced sweets Decision Time BBN Senior Profile: Summer Grundy Lady Devils fall to Southeastern, 56-48 Devils outlast Manchester 47-44 in double overtime Peebles holds second Hall of Fame Ceremony Senior Profile: Patrick England Sowards hits 1,000, ties PHS three-point mark County agencies prepare for sweeping budget cuts Manchester Council votes to cut police chief’s hours Wrestling debuts in Adams County Peebles Library hosts book signing As plants power down, community must step up Raymond P Dryden Alva Palmer Billie L Shoemaker Judith Long Brent A Arn Girls basketball sectional pairings announced WU’s Weeks will continue gridiron career at next level West Union JH Boys drop pair at Ripley Eighth Grade Lady Hounds roll into SHAC semi-finals Janet A Kennedy DP&L moving ahead with plans to close power plants Outreach Center in Peebles is a hub of giving River Sweep contest winners announced Gordley hits 1,000 mark, but Indians drop crucial SHAC contest to Lynchburg Manchester lifters compete at Piketon Senior Profile: Madelyn Sanders Charles L Hurd Randy Casto Bobby Strunk Dorothy J Scott Chester A Lanter Coach David Smalley picks up 500th career win at Rio Grande Dustin Holbrook Senior Profile: Camron Gordley As usual, optimism abounds on 2017 Reds Caravan Breeze, Beasley newest members of NAHS Athletic HOF Two humble men Adams County Manor Home Health Care makes road to recovery easier Don and Venita Bowles named as Outstanding Fair Supporters ‘Tip off For Tammy’ is a huge success, joint effort by two schools Husted campaign makes stop in Peebles Benefit held for double-lung transplant recipient I loved that muddy water, building in the creek Margaret E Broughton Larry A Hanson DP&L press release confirms closing of power plants Eighth grade girls showdown lives up to hype, North Adams wins in overtime, 45-43 Senior Profile: Raeanna Stamm North Adams Football sign-ups coming soon North Adams JV girls go 11-4 with win over Peebles Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week West Union duo headed to the college gridiron Lady Devils make it 11 straight with win at Peebles Adams County residents attend Trump Inauguration A Look back at our Archives Peebles native comes home to film documentary Ohio Valley Wrestling Cub hosting home match on Jan. 31 Ruth A Branscome Velma Hughes Carol L Lewis Betty L Greiner Devils top New Boston 63-53 in finale of Coach Young Classic Lady Devils rout Eastern Pike in Young Classic

I will remember this snuggle

It was a moment that may not have unfolded in the morning routine of most days. Getting six kids ready for school and myself ready for work normally looks like three hours of non-stop rushing. But in my recent efforts to make sure my kids know the value of faith, family, and friends over schedules, iPhones and YouTube, I stopped what I was doing and listened when my five-year-old walked into my bathroom when I was fixing my hair for work and asked if I’d sit down and hold her. My usual response might have been, ‘Not right now, I have to finish getting ready so I’m not late for work.’ But not today. This time I decided that my hair was good enough for today and my response was, “Of course I will.”

So we pulled out the chair that she normally uses to kneel on when brushing her teeth, and she climbed up on my lap and wrapped both arms and legs around me. I held her for a moment, and then caught a glimpse of wonderful in the mirror. In the image looking back at me, I saw her close her little eyes and take a deep breath to smell my shirt. And she smiled. It was a smile of contentment. Her sleepy little voice said, “Mama, when I miss you today, I’m going to think about how you smell and remember this snuggle.” So will I, baby girl. So will I.

In that moment that almost didn’t happen, I realized that what other people might think is cheap, vanilla, drug store perfume represents comfort, security, and love to my daughter. I realized that taking a few extra minutes out of my usual morning routine didn’t make a bit of difference to the rest of the world, but it meant the world to her. I went to work with my hair in a ponytail, but with a child that knew she was the most important thing in that moment. It only took a few minutes to make a memory.

Friends, I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day today to slow down. Look people in the eye. Put the phone down. Turn off the television. Have a meal together. Smile more. You never know what kind of moments might unfold when a few moments of ‘rush’ are taken out of your day.

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Denae Jones

Contributing columnist

Denae Jones is a former teacher and the mother of six children. She and her husband Darrin reside in Bethel, where she is now a wealth management advisor.

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2016 People's Defender